In January 1992 an acquaintance of Scott’s was tried and
convicted of the murder. After a lengthy appeals process a
federal court overturned his conviction based on evidence of
prosecutorial misconduct. He was released in July, 1996.
Police do not believe the man they arrested actually wielded
the knife used in the murder. Bloody prints on the wall were not
his, and he had no prior history of violence. Everyone involved
with the case agrees the prints had to belong to the killer. But
no one has been willing to run them through the FBI database.
Update July 31, 2007
The LAPD Devonshire Division has completed their review of the case. Their conclusion: Because they still believe their original suspect was present and witnessed the murder, they find no reason to reopen the investigation. They did, however, run the files by someone in the Cold Case Unit downtown. He agrees the evidence should be processed (e.g. fingerprint run) but has turned it back over to Devonshire Division
since it does not fall within the guidelines of a typical cold case.
Meanwhile I’m appealing to the world at large (thanks to the
internet) to help find justice for Scott Rogo and get a killer off the
streets. Every retelling of Rogo’s death in print and on TV (two
shows in 1992) has always left the impression that the case was solved
and the perpetrator was in prison. As a result there are people
out there who might have had important information, but who have had no
reason to come forward. Additionally, since the case was officially
“closed” for many years, all evidence from the original trial (such as
the murder weapon) was ordered destroyed in 1996. I am concerned
that if we wait much longer more evidence will be lost, witnesses and
memories will disappear, and a vicious killer will kill again.
I’ll continue to share more details of the case in hopes of
dislodging some distant memory out there, or turning up tips for where
to go from here. By the way, my sources include police files,
forensic reports, trial transcripts, subpoenaed phone records,
interviews, and court documents. They do not include Wikipedia
(which was wrong until late June,) fortune cookies or reader comments
on Amazon, as other websites apparently do. Let’s start with the
Scott Rogo was last demonstrably alive on Tuesday, August 14, 1990. Phone records indicated he talked to his publisher at 6:40 am. From 9 til noon he volunteered at APLA -the AIDs project hotline. A neighbor claims to have seen him turn on his sprinklers in the afternoon.
A bartender at the In Touch bar says he saw Rogo Tuesday evening with the man shown in the composite.
The same bartender states Rogo returned Wednesday afternoon
with the same companion, around 2 pm. However, Rogo’s neighbor
testified that the sprinklers were running continuously from Tuesday
afternoon til Thursday noon, when he became worried and called
police. (Despite what some websites say, the neighbor did not
“discover” him.) Police found Rogo’s body at 1:40 pm Thursday,
August 16, 1990. They eventually estimated the time of death
between 12 and 48 hours prior to discovery. (A lot of websites
erroneously report Rogo’s date of death as “Aug 18, 1990.”)
Both witnesses seemed absolutely credible. The
likelihood that Scott would spend Wednesday afternoon in a bar while
his sprinklers were running for over 24 hours is slim, especially given
his personality. It’s more likely that one of the witnesses is
These are the only known facts about the last two days of
Scott Rogo’s life. Figuring out when he died – even just
determining which day – is a crucial piece of the puzzle. And
someone out there holds the piece.